I spent last week with my family in California. It was really a treat to be able to spend a little time with them. This summer will be fantastic, but it will also be a whirlwind of trips, wedding planning, and visiting friends and family. This past week was the perfect quiet moment before that begins.
I introduced my siblings to one of my favorite hiking spots- the Santa Rosa Plateau and Ecological Reserve. I love this particular park because it is lovely at any time of year and it offers a wide variety of hiking trails. There was quite a bit of rain the week before I came, so the fields were covered in wild flowers. There are also vernal pools, old adobe buildings from the nineteenth century and a Native American garden which are perfect for little people field trips.
My little brother loved it so much, we went the next day too for a special “Logan and Brittany” hike.
Here is some advice about hiking in the area.
- Beware of rattlesnakes (there are three kinds! Yikes!), mountain lions in the evening and poison oak. Stay away from these animals and make sure everyone in your hiking party recognizes poison oak. Tarantulas also come out in the autumn, but they are harmless.
- Bring water bottles, snacks, and sunscreen (and a camera!). Wear the right type of shoes and clothing. Make sure everyone in your party, especially young ones, do their…ummm, business before leaving your house. Although most of the trails are shaded by gorgeous, old oak trees, many of the large, main trails are not. There are a few water spigots and port-a-potty’s and maps, but these are all by the entrance. Come prepared.
- There is a small entrance fee of $3 per adult and $2 per child. This fee is not heavily enforced; however I would recommend dropping a few dollars, especially if your party is large. All the money goes to maintaining the ecological reserve.
Make sure to drop by the reserve, especially if you live or are visiting the Temecula/Murrieta area! Have fun and be safe!